Liverpool defender Martin Sktrel concedes that he considered leaving the club during the summer transfer window having found himself condemned to a place on the bench for much of the second-half of last season.

The Slovakia centre-back made just four Premier League appearances between the beginning of February and the end of the campaign, leading to speculation he could leave before the summer’s deadline.

Napoli were linked with a £10 million bid, with Skrtel the target of a reunion by former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez, but he decided to remain at Anfield and fight for his place.

It is a decision that has paid dividends for the 29-year-old, with Skrtel having started 23 times in the league this term with Liverpool looking a good bet to end their Champions League wilderness.

“I would be lying if I said I didn’t think about leaving,” Skrtel told reporters.

“It wasn’t easy for me after last season. I was on the bench in the second part of the season and that was something new for me.

“But it is not easy to leave a club like Liverpool because they are still one of the best clubs in the world. After six years here it was not easy to say ‘okay, I’m leaving’.

“Before this season started I just said to myself ‘I will fight and work very hard to try to show people I am able to play and start the games’.

“I tried to work very hard in training every day and when I got a chance to play I tried to do my best to help the team.

“After games like Saturday’s [win against Arsenal] I am just so glad and so happy that I stayed.

“Liverpool are a massive club and I just wanted to prove to people I am able to play for this club.”

Liverpool and Skrtel have an opportunity to reinforce their position in the coveted top four on Wednesday evening as they travel to bottom-placed Fulham, while Tottenham face a far more tricky trip to Newcastle.

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